Nearly 1.2 million Canadians voted for the Green Party in the last election — 6.5 per cent of all voters — yet the Greens only managed to elect three Members of Parliament.
It’s been a long struggle for a party whose support is not regionally concentrated. The Bloc Québécois, for example, received 1,387,030 votes in 2019 compared to the Greens’ 1,189,607, but they elected 32 MPs to Parliament.
For most of her 12 years as party leader, Elizabeth May has sought to increase the Greens’ presence on the electoral map, all the while championing action on climate change and parliamentary reform.
But her record has been mixed — despite the importance of the environment emerging as a central issue in voters’ minds. The Greens in 2019 were actually supported by a smaller percentage of voters — 6.5 per cent compared to 6.8 per cent — than during May’s first campaign as leader in 2008. In the years in between, the Greens received 3.9 per cent of votes cast in 2011 and 3.4 per cent in 2015.
Now, as she prepares to hand over the leadership of a party that she has defined for more than a decade, the Greens have a chance to rebrand themselves. Who are they and what does the party stand for?
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Eight candidates are vying for the leadership of the Green Party of Canada. They present different visions for where they want to see the Greens go and how they believe the party should get there. From free tuition to taxing billionaires out of existence, they also offer different policy proposals.
We sent the candidates 23 questions. Most answered them all. These are their responses, as submitted, with light editing for grammar and format.
Green members will begin voting on Sept. 26 and the new leader will be announced on Oct. 3.
Click on the profile pictures to read their answers.